Farmers who burn silt from a lake inspired a power station to study a commercial run.
Yang Fulin (杨富林) works for Kunming City's power plant but he's enthusiastic about the prospects of his city generating power using silt from Lake Dianchi in the not-so-distant future. He said the idea came from the grassroots. Farmers around the lake started raking up silt from the lakeshore and drying it up in the sun for fuel, which locals call "grass coal." And officials of the plant learned of the practice and soon proposed to study the feasibility of using the silt to produce electricity.
Many experts found that there's energy in the silt to be extracted, but the the output of electricity from the process is much less efficient than burning coal or in hydro-power plants.
But the plant officials are not discouraged, as making good use of the silt will not only release pollution from the lake, but also create a sustainable approach to development. With the recent calls from Beijing to reduce pollution emissions and save energy, the officials are no less excited to proceed with more studies for a workable plan.
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